Negative ions are oxygen atoms charged with an extra electron. They are created in nature by the effects of water, air, sunlight and the Earth’s inherent radiation.
Negatively-charged ions, also called anions, are most prevalent in natural places and particularly around moving water or after a thunderstorm.
That taste in the air and feeling you get at the beach, near a waterfall or after a storm is your body being exposed to negative ion benefits.
What if there were a way to take that feeling you have with you and keep it going in your bedroom, lounge room, kitchen or office, as well as cleaning the air of pollution and floating contaminants?
Ahead is how to use special negative ion generating machines, like this powerful little bestseller, to both clear the air in your home of allergens and have a positive effect on your wellness and well-being.
What Do Negative Ions Do?
In high enough concentrations, anions purify the surrounding air of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses, dust and other hazardous airborne particles.
They do this by attaching to these positively-charged particles in large numbers. This causes the germs, mold, pollen and other allergens to become too heavy to stay airborne.
At this point they drop to the floor or attach to a nearby surface. This removes them from the air you breathe and prevents them from triggering respiratory problems like allergies.
With longer term use, air ionization devices, and the purified air they generate, may reduce your risk of many respiratory disorders and pollution related illnesses.
Our homes and workplaces are usually sealed off from the natural benefits of negatively-charged ions.
Even if you do keep your windows open, aside from all the air pollution, if you live in a busy town or city then the concentration of ions in the air may only be a tenth of that found in country environments.
Add to that all the positive ion producing electrical equipment, like televisions, air conditioning, clothes dryers, and even carpet and upholstery, and our homes have become what has been described as ‘positive ion prisons’.
For a full list of the harmful effects positive ions can have see this page on what positive ions are and how they affect you.
How Do Air Ionizers Work?
You do have one negative ion generator in your home already. Your shower, with its stream of hot water and steam, is a good producer of negative ions.
That’s likely part of why so many people need a shower to wake up in the morning. It’s not much use in the other rooms of your house though.
Fortunately, scientists have come up with another even more effective way to create these negatively-charged ions and receive their benefits in whatever room you spend time in — negative ionizers.
A modern air ionizer works by using a method called ‘corona discharge’, which is modeled on the way lightning occurs in nature.
A tiny current of electrons flow down a needle to its point. The nearer the electrons come to the needlepoint, the closer they are forced together.
Since electrons naturally repel each other, when they reached the very tip of the needle they are forced off into the nearest air molecule and become a negative ion, also known scientifically as an anion.
Negative ions repel each other as well, so as more and more are produced they are emitted further and further out into the room they are in.
The more powerful the ionizer, like one of these best ionic air purifiers, the more healthy anions they can produce and the larger their range.
12 Potential Benefits of Negative Ions
So just what can ion therapy with an ionizer potentially do for you in terms of improving your wellness and well-being?
There are highlighted links to references if you would like to read the relevant scientific research, but for a summary here are 12 very positive negative ion benefits:
- Negative ions increase your sense of well-being and mental clarity by counteracting debilitating positive ions in your environment.
- Ion machines are proven to clear the air of dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other potential allergens.
- High concentrations of negatively-charged ions can significantly decrease airborne bacteria and viruses within your home.
- Exposure to anions improves the function of the cilia in your respiratory tract that protect your lungs from irritation and inflammation, thus leading to less respiratory problems.
- Air ionizers have a relaxing effect and have been reported to normalize breathing rate and relieve tension. Because anions are absorbed directly into the bloodstream they may help to combat harmful free radicals within your body.
- Studies demonstrated that high levels of negatively-charged ions can be an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
- Improved energy levels and focus. Research at the University of California showed anion exposure normalized serotonin levels in the brain, potentially improving a person’s positive outlook and mood.
- Better sleep. A French study found using negative ion technology could help you to sleep better. This is once again due to their positive effects on neurotransmitters.
- Reduces instances of headaches and sickness. The company Norwich Union found installing ionic air cleaners in a work area full of computers and other electronic equipment reduced instances of reported sickness and headaches by 78%. Ion generators are also routinely used in hospitals in Europe for their beneficial impact on patient’s healing rates.
- Elevated mental concentration and performance. Testing has shown that subjects exposed to high levels of anions performed better in mentally challenging tasks than those breathing normal positive ion dense air. Pierce J. Howard PhD at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences says in the Owner’s Manual for the Brain – “Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.”
- Research showed negative ion exposure improved physical performance as well. A study entitled ‘An investigation of the effects of negative air ions on responses to submaximal exercise at different times of day’ showed that: “negative air ions significantly reduced resting values of all physiological variables” and “are biologically active and that they do affect the body’s circadian rhythmicity”.
- One explanation for these positive effects can be found in a research paper called ‘The stimulatory effect of negative air ions and hydrogen peroxide on the activity of superoxide dismutase’. Scientists found that anions boosted concentrations of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of your body’s primary defenses against oxidative stress. They concluded: “The primary physicochemical mechanism of beneficial biological action of negative air ions is suggested to be related to the stimulation of superoxide dismutase activity by micromolar concentrations of H2O2.”
How to Use Ionization Devices in Your Home
Breathing in less positively-charged ions and more negatively-charged ones is clearly beneficial to your well-being.
How do you take advantage of this though when so many aspects of modern life increase positive ions in the air around you.
Nowadays, new and innovative ways of generating ions are being developed and air ionizers are becoming smaller, more stylish and much more powerful, like this highly recommended one I have on my desk.
There are also portable versions you can take to work, such as these desktop air purifiers with optional ionizers, or even wear wherever you go to protect you from pollution and viruses, like these personal air purifiers.
This site has detailed reviews on negative ion generators for your home, office and even car purifier ionizers, with a focus on those that have a very high ionic output without ozone.
A negative ionizer can purify the air where you live and work, and counteracting the debilitating effects of positive ions and air pollution, all while providing many wellness benefits.
If, like most people, you live a high pollution city environment, and in a modern home full of positive ion producing electrical equipment, consider using an air ionizer for daily negative ion therapy.
If you’d like to see what a good one looks like then check this comprehensive review of the best negative ion generators in 2021.
They could make a significant difference to your physical and mental well-being by flooding the air you breathe with beneficial negative ions.